Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Happy 9th Birthday Josiah!
His favorite place to tinker and play is in the teepee fortress he has created.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


I have been praying for several years now for a place where Aliza could connect with other girls and really feel like she has friends. In the past month or so I have watched this prayer be answered.

Through a series of soccer games and birthday parties, Aliza had the chance to get to know a girl from her dance class. Get to know as in this girl and Aliza talked non stop for the duration of the events. I talked to this girl's Mom and she said, "You know, Carla, you really need to come to Wednesday nights." This same mom had actually invited me last year to this same thing and I just couldn't see my way clear to add it to our lives. This year, however, I immediately knew that this was for us. I talked to the kids in the car on the way home from dance and all 3 of them were surprisingly positive and excited.

Wednesday nights we call "club." It is actually Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors at a baptist church. The evening starts with supper and then the girls have a class, the boys have a class, Anna and Isaiah are in the preschool class and Jeremy and I go to the adult class. It's only an hour and to say that my children are excited afterwards is an understatement. They are giddy! All 4 of them have so much fun.

The first week Josiah and Anna were crying during supper because they were so nervous. The second week all 4 children went running by themselves to class.

I love not cooking supper on Wednesdays! I could take or leave the adult class, but for an hour, knowing that my kids are having a great time and making friends, I can sit through just about anything.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Celebrating Their 65 Years Together

What a privilege it was to celebrate my grandparent's 65th wedding anniversary. Gramma was 19 and Grandad was 24 when they said their vows to each other on January 1, 1952. I know that no one has a perfectly smooth life so I know that they had hard times where they relied on their commitment to each other, not their feelings of mushy love, to carry them through. I'm so glad they remained faithful to marriage. Jeremy told our children that after any couple reaches their 65th anniversary, the children may say "happy anniversary" to them every time they see them. I think his meaning was that at this point each day is a sweet gift that should be lived in the present and savored.
I have an talented friend who took the picture I gave her and designed this keepsake.
I also have a talented sister who designed the tablescape. We had an afternoon dessert drop in for friends and family. The menu was totally designed for my Gramma: banana splits, cupcakes, candy bowls, brownies and punch. Unfortunately, her stomach was just a bit off and she didn't eat a single thing. =( I did talk to her today, though, and she has sampled both of the cupcake flavors and approved.

Andes mint cupcakes and vanilla with raspberry icing. Amazing! One of our acquaintances bakes to raise funds for their upcoming adoption from China. It was great to support her family and enjoy her baking.
I put together a slideshow of pictures that we had looping on the television screen. I know that Gramma is going to wish that I had TAKEN pictures of the party guests. Hopefully what I took will help her remember the occasion fondly. It was a very nice afternoon of visiting and eating!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Valentine Chocolate

I told someone on Valentine's Day that I wished I had written notes to my kids earlier because it was a bit of a difficult day and I wasn't feeling Valentine's mushy towards them. It's usually good to have a plan to fall back on so that you don't just rely on your feelings. I had decided on chocolate fondue for our Valentine family dessert. There was lots of enthusiasm. Lots.

Jeremy made the fondue on the stove and I supervised getting the dippers ready. Anna was my helper.
With our chocolate we had strawberries, bananas, pineapple, pretzels, marshmallows, Rice Krispie treats and graham crackers.
It wasn't too many minutes until it became apparent that the flame was keeping the chocolate too hot. Our clue was that there was a huge bubble and smoke.
Plus there was this 2 year old who was very excited to dip.

It was a bit of a chaotic whirlwind of a dessert. Jeremy and I commented that one day we, as a family, will be able to have a conversation during dessert.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Memorable Evening

I knew it was time for Jeremy and I to get some time alone when 1. we couldn't remember our last date and 2. I was creating a list of subjects I needed to talk to him about. When my sister asked me to babysit her girls it was the perfect chance to ask for a swap.

We dropped Aliza off at an evening birthday party and went to Outback for dinner. Call ahead seating worked out perfectly. We will always call ahead from now on. I talked through the entire meal. The waitress probably thought I was nuts. Then we had time to walk through a couple stores before it was time to pick up Aliza.

Aliza's party was in a development and as we were driving down the road we noticed a bonfire size fire blazing right beside a house. Maybe 10 feet from the side of the garage. A couple cars had pulled over and some women were running around and trying to get someone to answer the door. We were about to keep driving and I said, "Jeremy, I think they need help." He pulled over and ran across the street. Someone brought a hose and a trickle came out--it wasn't hooked up to the faucet. Jeremy got it connected to the faucet. Thankfully, Jeremy had moved some wood away from the fire and the house did not start burning. Jeremy came back to the car with water splattered all over his face from hooking up the hose.

It was a memorable date AND Aliza had a great time at the birthday party.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Celebrating 90 Years

I traveled to the Northwest corner of Ohio with my Mom, Dad, sister and nieces to celebrate my Grandma's 90th birthday. It was one of those trips where I knew I was going to be riding in the car as long as I was at the destination and I wondered if the trip was "worth it." I decided that my Grandma only has a 90th birthday once and not every grandma has a 90th birthday and it's best to live life without regrets--so the trip was worth it.
Janell and I stopped by the farm. My Grandpa was a farmer and raised steers. His name is still on the barn and we breathed in the distinct scent of straw and steers. It's one of those scents that brings back memories of cold mornings in the barn "helping" Grandpa feed the steers.
I enjoyed having lunch with some of my cousins before Grandma's party. It's the first time I remember sitting around a table with my cousins away from our parents. We don't know each other well, but we had some good laughs and conversation.

Grandma has one living sister and two living brothers in law that were able to come to the drop in party. Some of her nieces and nephews were there also. Grandma has 7 children who were all there with their spouses. About half of her grandchildren were there as well as some great grandchildren. (Grandma has a really big family. She would be able to the exact number, but I think we number in the 60s now.)

The cupcake table was so pretty. The plates were absolutely perfect for Grandma. I know it was a big day for Grandma and being the center of attention isn't really her thing, but I hope that she knew that everyone was there to let her know that she is special and loved.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Joy Dare::January

I guess I've known this was going to happen at some point. The 1000 Gifts app is no longer supported and when I installed the latest update on my phone, I lost January 1-20. Now I'm using paper. So this time it's an abbreviated list.

4094. Commonplace and miraculous--the peaceful transition of power
4095. When Grandma and Grandpa are here we stay in our pjs and visit as long as possible
4096. Finished a good book
4097. Special church service--cardboard testimonies and visitors
4098. One huge dance party
4099. Jeremy brought home my perfect snack--chai and a muffin
4100. A sunny day
4101. Sent a box of empty cereal boxes to Haiti
4102. Aliza is loving dance this year and it makes me so happy for her
4103. The girls have so much fun playing together--at  bedtime!
4104. Anna was so very grownup at the dentist
4105. Libraries--I really love looking for our read aloud books
4106. Prayer and more prayer--it makes all the difference
4107. Lots and lots of recycling taken care of
4108. Sun
4109. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
4110. Doing as much nothing as possible on this Sunday
4111. Aliza teaching Anna her dance
4112. Chinese supper that excited everyone
4113. After church treat
4114. Ordering pictures for Gramma
4115. Doughnuts after Dr. well check
4116. Cheering section for Caleb
4117. Aliza loved her social day
4118. Josiah finished school early
4119. "And this is the thing to hear everywhere: no matter what anyone's saying, everyone's just asking if they can be loved" (from The Broken Way)
4120. Posted an invitation